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Jan 12, 2015

Golf-Debutant Matsuyama thrives in spectacular Kapalua setting

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 11 (Reuters) – First-timers often struggle to cope with the shifting winds and challenging greens at Kapalua but Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama has, so far, thrived at the venue on his debut at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

Charmed by the spectacular views of the Pacific and nearby island of Molokai from the hilly Plantation Course, the 22-year-old has strung together rounds of three-under-par 70, 66 and 66 to hold a share of the third-round lead.

Jan 12, 2015

Golf-Matsuyama and Walker share Kapalua lead

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Hideki Matsuyama, helped by three consecutive birdies on each nine, moved one step closer to his second PGA Tour victory by surging into a tie for the lead at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

The 22-year-old Japanese, already regarded by his peers as one of the best iron players in the game, produced near-flawless golf as he fired a seven-under-par 66 in the third round on the hilly Plantation Course at the Kapalua Resort.

Jan 12, 2015

Golf-Clark catches fire at Kapalua after playing solo

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Early starter Tim Clark took advantage of playing by himself to charge up the leaderboard with a much improved putting display in the third round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Sunday.

Placed second-last overnight and a distant 10 strokes off the pace in the winners-only field of 34, the South African found himself teeing off without a playing partner when American Kevin Stadler withdrew from the event, citing a wrist injury.

Jan 11, 2015

Golf-Hawaiian expert Johnson back in familiar territory

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Hawaii seems to bring the very best out of Zach Johnson and the straight-shooting American was once again back in contention on the island of Maui at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday.

Winner here last year after closing with a seven-under-par 66, Johnson fired a 67 on the hilly Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort to share the 36-hole lead with fellow Americans Jimmy Walker and Russell Henley, and South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon.

Jan 11, 2015

Golf-Holder Johnson in four-way tie at top in Hawaii

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Defending champion Zach Johnson was among four players tied for the lead after an ideal day for low scoring in the second round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Saturday.

Johnson, who clinched last year’s title by one shot, fired a six-under-par 67 on the hilly Plantation Course at Kapalua Resort to finish level with fellow Americans Jimmy Walker (68) and Russell Henley (70), and South Korea’s Bae Sang-moon (69).

Jan 10, 2015

Golf-Mahan dwells on the here and now, not major goals

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Specific golfing objectives are off Hunter Mahan’s agenda for this year as the American focuses on the impending birth of his second child, along with a desire to be healthy and live in the moment.

A six-times winner on the highly competitive PGA Tour, Mahan has yet to claim his first major title but he firmly believes that setting precise goals for the game’s blue riband events – as many other players do — would not be in his best interests.

Jan 10, 2015

Golf-Putting maestro Henley sets pace at Kapalua

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Russell Henley is known for his superb putting but even he was pleasantly surprised by his stunning form on the greens as he seized a one-shot lead in Friday’s opening round at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The 25-year-old American sank 14 of 14 putts from 15 feet or less on the way to a flawless eight-under-par 65 at Kapalua Resort in the opening PGA Tour event of the year, and the eighth in the wrap-around season for 2014-15.

Jan 10, 2015

Golf-Blinkered approach helps Bae into Kapalua contention

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 9 (Reuters) – South Korean Bae Sang-moon did well to keep his off-course distractions largely in the background as he charged into contention for the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with a sizzling display on Friday.

Bae, who is getting legal advice to help resolve a requirement that he return home by the month’s end to complete military service, piled up eight birdies and a lone bogey on the way to a seven-under-par 66 in the opening round.

Jan 9, 2015

Golf-Fresh slate for Walker after golden 2014 campaign

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Trying to replicate a career-best season is no easy task for any golfer and for Jimmy Walker the slate will be “wiped clean” as he launches his 2015 campaign at this week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

After toiling away as a journeyman for several winless years on the highly competitive PGA Tour, Walker finally made his breakthrough in stunning fashion as he triumphed three times early on in 2013-14.

Jan 9, 2015

Golf-Refreshed Day raring to go at Kapalua

KAPALUA, Hawaii, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Frustrated by injury problems last year, Australian Jason Day says he has benefited from a few month’s rest and is in fine fettle ahead of this week’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Resort.

The world number eight returned to competition last month for two post-season events in Florida where he displayed encouraging form, and will make his first appearance on the 2014-15 PGA Tour when he tees off in Friday’s first round.